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Linux 2003
Conference and Tutorials
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Thurs 31st July - Sun 3rd August 2003
Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, a beautiful picturesque country North of England. Edinburgh has a rich history and has many fine examples of medieval architecture. A walled city, it was one of the first to attempt multi-storey buildings to the extent that, built on several hills, the many bridges gives it a three-dimensional quality. The historic centre, dominated by two huge ancient volcanic plugs, Arthur's Seat and Castle hill, is counterpoised by the northern New Town often used in UK period dramas, which boasts one of the finest collections of Georgian architecture in the country. It is the Athens of the North.

The currency is the Pound and has unity conversion with the British pound Sterling, although Scotland has three types of bank notes in circulation. Some shops (and the pub EdLUG drinks in) now take the Euro; British businesses accept Scottish notes.

Linux 2003 is being held amid the big Summer festivals including the world famous Fringe. It's possible the streets will be full of theatre, carnival and fairs. More information can be found at http://www.edinburgh.org/.

Travel

Rail : Haymarket is the nearest station to the conference venue. Edinburgh Waverley is closest to Pollock Halls. Edinburgh has a direct rail link to London and from there mainland Europe through the channel tunnel. There are trains every 15 or 30 minutes to and from Glasgow. Note that Glasgow has two major railway stations, Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street. Most Edinburgh services use Glasgow Queen Street. There's also an overnight Sleeper service to/from London. Information on ticket options and links to timetables...

Air : Fly to Glasgow, Prestwick or Edinburgh International airports. There's a shuttle service between Edinburgh International airport and the city centre. If flying to Glasgow or Prestwick, you should take the train to Edinburgh.

Road : Easy, go North. If you hit Glasgow find the M8 motorway and go East. There's aren't many other options unless you are in the Highlands (the UK is a triangularly-shaped island); if you are and you don't know how to get to Edinburgh then you have bigger problems to think about.

Coaches : There are direct services from London but they take several hours - the train is quicker (but usually costs more). Inside Edinburgh there is an excellent bus service. The number 5 will take you from Pollock Halls to just around the corner from the College - cross the main road, walk down Albert Terrace, turn right then left (see the photo walk through). HINT: Buy a 'Day Saver', £2.50.

Ferries : From the continent and Ireland you will end up either a short drive to Glasgow or a stone's throw from Edinburgh.

Venue

The venue is George Watson's College (GWC). Ample parking is available. The accommodation is at Pollock Halls of Residence, part of Edinburgh University. Maps of the GWC campus and where GWC is located in Edinburgh

Culture

During the festival season there's more culture than you can shake a very big stick at, but there are some things you just have to try when you visit Scotland:

  • Heavy -: a dark beer.
  • Black pudding -: Fried Pigs blood with added lard.
  • Haggis-: Boiled sheep's stomach stuffed with Oats and things.
  • Salt'n'Sauce -: Chips served with a special thin brown sauce.
  • Mars Bar Fritter -: A mars bar covered in Flour and milk/egg. Deep fired in lard, apparently you've not lived until you try one.
  • Tablet -: Cooked condensed milk (with extra sugar).
  • The Forth Rail Bridge -: One of the wonders of the world, 4 UKP return.
  • Visit a Ghost Tour -: find them on the Royal Mile, we recommend the Mary Kings Close Tour.
  • Visit Greyfiars Bobby -: and see the statue and grave of the famous dog.
  • Climb Arthur's Seat. The view from the top is beautiful and on a good day you can see the Forth Rail Bridge.

If you get time try both kinds of Haggis, the type served by a restaurant and the type served in Chippies, late at night after too much Heavy. A Chippie will happily batter and deep fry most chocolate confectionaries, not limited to Mars bars, M'n'Ms and Cream Eggs.

The pubs are different, a Scottish Pint glass holds a pint when the liquid fills the glass to the top, unless served in an imported English glass. A pint of beer is usually about £2-2.50. Normally pubs are open until 1am week nights, 11pm Sunday. During the Festival they can be open until 3 or 5am, night clubs too. The Holyrood Tavern is the haunt of Edinburgh's Unix crowd and they serve food too. Edinburgh is not short of an Off-License.

A taxi journey from the centre of town to close to the outskirts costs around £8-10, depending upon the time of day.

Most people in Edinburgh speak English (e.g. 'don't you know, what?,') some with a very heavy accent. A lot will speak Scots, a Germanic Language, (e.g. 'ye ken?'), and very, very few Gaelic. Remember A 'Glasgow kiss' is not a form of affection, and Ii it's on a man it's not a skirt it's a Kilt (and probably accompanied by a Dirk! [short sharp knife]).


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